AP/PHIL3061 3.0 M: Plato

Offered by: PHIL


Winter 2022






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

This course will be a critical examination of the philosophy of Plato which aims to provide a strong foundational understanding of Plato's views on a range of metaphysical, epistemological, ethical or political topics.Pre-requisite: AP/PHIL 2015 3.00

Course Start Up

Course Websites hosted on York's "eClass" are accessible to students during the first week of the term. It takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access your course website. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week. To log in to your eClass course visit the York U eClass Portal and login with your Student Passport York Account. If you are creating and participating in Zoom meetings you may also go directly to the York U Zoom Portal.

For further course Start Up details, review the Next Steps webpage.

For IT support, students may contact University Information Technology Client Services via askit@yorku.ca or (416) 736-5800. Please also visit Students Getting Started UIT or the Getting Help - UIT webpages.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Professor Stefan Rodde

    Expanded Course Description

The Republic is widely regarded as Plato’s greatest work, as well as one of the greatest texts in the history of Western philosophy. But Plato continued to revise and refine the positions and arguments in this text. In this course we will study the Republic, as well as at two later dialogues which appear to challenge some the views in this dialogue: the Theaetetus, which deals with knowledge, and the Sophist which deals with metaphysics and philosophical method. Through an examination of primary texts, students will gain an understanding of Plato’s middle-period views on knowledge and reality, the soul, the good life for human beings and the ideal state, as well as some of Plato’s later-period views on knowledge, reality and methodology.

    Additional Requirements

Technical requirements for taking the course: This course will be delivered in-person. You will need an internet connection to upload homework and assignments

Here are some useful links for student computing information, resources and help:

Student Guide to Moodle

Zoom@YorkU Best Practices 

Zoom@YorkU User Reference Guide

Computing for Students Website

Student Guide to eLearning at York University

To determine Internet connection and speed, there are online tests, such as Speedtest, that can be run.]

Times and locations: This course will be delivered in-person (unless we have to move online because of COVID restrictions). The lectures are on Mondays 11:30-2:30 in ACW 009.

Office hours: In-person office hours will be held immediately following class in Ross S417. I can also meet students online if they are not available after class.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Plato. Republic. Trans. by G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing

Company, 1992.


Plato. Theaetetus. Trans. by M.J. Levett. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing

Company, 1992.


Plato. Sophist. Trans. by Nicholas White. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing

Company, 1993.

    Weighting of Course

Online Commentaries (10) . . 10% (Due before material covered in lecture)

Discussion Forums (3) . . . . . .25%

Essay Proposal . . . . . . . . . . . .5%

Essay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35%

Final Exam. . . .  . . . . . . . . . . .25%

    Organization of the Course

The lectures in this course will be delivered in person. The final exam will be scheduled by the Registrar.

    Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course you will have read three of Plato’s dialogues, and you should have a solid understanding of his middle- and later-period views. In addition you should have developed your ability to:

  • Read and understand difficult and challenging texts
  • Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments
  • Appreciate unfamiliar ideas and points of views
  • Express yourself clearly in discussion
  • Write clearly, concisely and effectively in support of your claims
    Additional Information / Notes

Course policies

  • At the end of term you will have the opportunity to complete a course evaluation. These evaluations are taken seriously. They enable us to improve the course design, and they figure prominently in the evaluation of instructors.
  • The late penalty for the essay or the essay proposal is 2%/day. We will not accept late submissions of online commentaries or discussion forum posts.
  • Academic honesty requires that persons do not falsely claim credit for the ideas, writing or other intellectual property of others, either by presenting such works as their own or through impersonation. Similarly, academic honesty requires that persons do not cheat (attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation), nor attempt or actually alter, suppress, falsify or fabricate any research data or results, official academic record, application or document. Finally, academic honesty requires that persons do not aid or abet others to commit an offence of academic dishonesty, including intentional acts to disrupt academic activities.
  • The university recognizes that persons with disabilities may require reasonable accommodation to enable them to perform at their best. The university encourages students with disabilities to register with Student Accessibility Services to discuss their accommodation needs as early as possible.
    Relevant Links / Resources